Disney Shares Rally on Earnings and Revenue Beat

Walt Disney Co. (DIS) reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday Nov. 8 that beat estimates on both top and bottom lines. 

Earnings per share came in at a $1.55 on a diluted basis ($1.48 adjusted) on revenues was $14.3 billion. Net income was $2.32 billion. Wall Street analysts had expected adjusted EPS of $1.35 on revenue of $13.74 billion. 

Disney shares rallied as much as 2% in after-hours trading on the results.

While saying he is "very pleased" with the results, Disney CEO Bob Iger remained focused on the company's longer-term strategy. "We remain focused on the successful completion and integration of our 21st Century Fox acquisition and the further development of our direct-to-consumer business, including the highly-anticipated launch of our Disney-branded streaming service late next year," Iger said. 

Disney noted that its 17% year-over-year increase in operating income was largely a result of strength in its Parks and Resorts and Studio Entertainment segments. Studio Entertainment revenue increased 50% year-over-year, with a few key movies performing well. 

On the flip side, Disney noted that losses from Hulu, one of its most important digital assets, increased. 

Investors are keying in on management's comments on the company's acquisition of most of the film and TV assets of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (FOXA) , and what precisely the deal means for Disney's transition into direct-to-consumer subscription services.

The company should reveal more on its earnings call with analysts this afternoon. Analysts have noted that operating expenses on marketing and technology for its direct-to-consumer platform launching next year will likely be a drag on operating income looking ahead in the short-term. 

After Disney's earnings were released, Iger told CNBC that he would be interested in increasing Disney's stake in Hulu. After the deal for Fox's assets closes, Disney's stake would increase to 60%. 

Disney shares are up 7.9% year-to-date.

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